Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto Crudo are just two of the culinary excellences that Parma has to offer. Discover all of its specialties from the starters to the second courses and take a stroll through the city center to admire the Dome and the Opera house.
Parma is only an hour drive from Bologna and is considered one of the most important Italian cities when it comes to gastronomy. It has received the “UNESCO Creative City for Gastronomy” award. Yes Folks, we are in the land of Prosciutto Crudo (raw ham) and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, two cornerstones of Italian cuisine. Come with us and discover more about Parma’s culinary excellence!
This corner of Emilia is a paradise for cold cut lovers: in addition to Prosciutto di Parma, or as our American friends may know it, Prosciutto Italiano, trying the delicious Culatello is a must (a cured ham originally from the town of Zibello). Don’t forget about Felino and Strolghino salami either, two cities that have mastered the art of salami-making over the years, and of course, Coppa.
Considering all the specialties that this city has to offer, the best way to start a meal in Parma is to order a platter of tasty cold cuts and Parmigiano Reggiano. We highly recommend some Torta Fritta on the side, golden strips of fried batter that will literally melt in your mouth.
Fresh pasta with fillings, such as Cappelletti in broth, or pumpkin Tortelli. Among the other top-notch first courses, we find risotto and tagliolini, both spectacular when seasoned with strips of Prosciutto Italiano.
Choose between the beef stew, marinated for hours in wine, and boiled meats served on a special trolley, where you will find very tender cuts of chicken or beef. If you’re curious to try tripe, in Parma you will also find the excellent Parmigiana tripe, finished with a generous grating of Parmigiano Reggiano on top.
Here are a few restaurant recommendations to ensure that you experience Parma’s food in all of its authenticity.
- Hostaria da Ivan
- Ristorante Cocchi
- Leon D’oro
Visit the Dome
Standing in the main square, this cathedral is Parma’s most famous place of worship, consecrated in 1106 and built in Romanesque and Renaissance styles. The Dome was painted by Correggio a famous Italian artist of the 16th century.
Get lost in the Bamboo Maze: Labirinto della Masone
This beautiful maze was built by the publisher Franco Maria Ricci. But the Labirinto della Masone is much more than a place to play hide and seek, as it acts as a cultural center housing Ricci’s art collection.
Spend a night at the opera
Parma is considered the city of music and opera. The Teatro Regio is Parma’s opera house and is one of the most important in Italy for its tradition.
If you’re planning a trip to Emilia-Romagna, check out our posts about the other main cities of the region and their specialties!